What does this mean for firms?
1. Firm Registration & Appointing a Designated Representative
A primary contact person in each firm will receive an email asking them to confirm information about the firm and to appoint a Designated Representative (“DR”). The DR acts as the point person or liaison for the firm and is responsible for all communications on behalf of the firm with the Law Society. The DR is also responsible for completing the Assessment Tool and Annual Report with support from others within the firm, as needed. There are more communications upcoming on this and information specific to the DR will be available early in the new year, so keep an eye out for those communications coming soon.
2. Assessment Tool
Based on feedback from the pilot project, the Assessment Tool is undergoing improvements and an online version is in development. In moving the Assessment Tool and proactive firm regulation forward, we know, based on the feedback we received and have incorporated, firms will experience and appreciate the value of the Assessment Tool. The implementation of the Assessment Tool will be gradual in nature and it will be rolled out over three years. In most cases firms will only be required to complete the tool once every three years. Further information on the roll out of the Assessment Tool will be provided periodically in the upcoming months.
3. The Annual Report
Most firms will be familiar with the TA-3 which is filed with the Law Society in accordance with the firm’s year end, which in most cases is December 31st. The Annual Report is not another document the firm is being asked to file, rather the TA-3 will be amalgamated into and renamed as the Annual Report. For firms without trust accounts, they will also be required to file an Annual Report unique to them. Firms will be required to file an Annual Report for year-end 2020. More information will be made available in the upcoming months.